Before the Noisey editors start to blab about what they’ve been listening to this week, it’s important to take a minute to observe the above image. What you’re looking at there is David Letterman thanking his musical guest, an anime hologram. This is it, people. This is the beginning of the end, for music and television and maybe the world. Soon, we will be watching TV shows like ‘How I Met Your Hologram Mother’ and ‘Two and A Half Holograms’ and ‘Holograms’ (that’s like ‘Friends’ but for holograms). The future is terrifying and also very teal and blue. Anyway, here’s what we’ve been listening to while welcoming our hologram overlords.
Tinashe feat. Devonte Hynes - "Bet
The Tinahse album came out this week, and it is really awesome. While I enjoy "2 On" as much as anyone else, its appeal has worn thin on me, so I was pretty pleasantly surprised to discover that Tinashe's album is not the same DJ Mustard hits compilation that every other rap and R&B album is this year (not that that's bad! I love DJ Mustard too). Rather, it's a glitchy, unpredictable twist on the kind of amorphous, electronically tinged version of the genre post-The Weeknd and Drake, in line with some of Jeremih's more interesting recent work. While there's a whole vein of new-agey, whisper-soft R&B, most of that stuff feels totally thin to me (cough, Jhene Aiko, cough). Tinashe has a strong voice that can still actually itself over this type of tricky production full of washed out vocal panning and stray guitar riffs, and it feels like she's actually paying homage to early 2000s R&B futurism while incorporating a completely different set of sounds. Anyway, it's fucking cool and better than I expected (as she correctly predicted it would be to Noisey last year). Check it out.
Lil Silk, DC Young Fly, and Skypad War - "Shut It Down
I'm in Atlanta for the 10th annual A3C hip-hop conference festival, and in my couple days fucking around the city, I've learned two things. One, they don't give the free Reeboks on the 23rd floor to you unless you're an artist. Two, there are some motherfuckers out here who are just beyond, in terms of sound, philosophy, and just plain unprecedented levels of turn-up. From the outside looking in, Atlanta has gone hippie in fascinating ways—Earth Gang is out here pushing some ATL Native Tongues shit, guys like Makonnen and Yakki Divioshi are taking Future's relationship with melody and turning rightthefuck left, and then there's Lil Silk, who used to share a label (Archive) with Young Thug, and has an unhinged, high-pitched delivery that is kind of the greatest thing ever. Here, he, noted Vine celebrity DC Young Fly, and Skypad War take on Personal Trainer DJ's empty industrial warehouse of an instrumental and fill it with life and exuberance.
Drew Millard, Features Editor
Yo Gotti feat Lil' Wayne, and Ludacris - "Errbody" (Remix)
Man, what happened to Ludacris? Remember when seeing that Ludacris was featured on a single meant that you were probably going to break something within arms reach when his verse came on? Back when you'd look forward to seeing him in a music video, just to find out what he's done with his hair? Now, after cutting off said hair and beefing with fucking Big Sean, Chris Bridges has become a husk of his former self. It's understandable that you'd want to relax after a long rap career and just chill and star in movies and work out your upper body, but every time Ludacris decides to rap now feels like he's taking himself to task. I can count the amount of times I've been impressed with Ludacris post Release Therapy on two fingers: the first was when he showed up on Waka Flocka Flame's Triple F Life for half a verse, and the second is on this song. It's a really good rapping by recent Ludacris standards, but since it's featured beside two strong verses from Yo Gotti and Lil Wayne, that fact may have been lost on some. Not I. I hear you Ludacris, and I appreciate you. At least until you star in another terrible song/movie/headphone commercial.
Slava Pastuk, Canadian Editor
Ty Segall - "The Singer"
Last week in Staff Picks, I
about how I can't take anymore indie R&B, and as if Ty Segall was reading my mind (post), this week he dropped the video for one of his best guitar cuts in awhile, the glam rock-throwback "The Singer." It's a natural next step for one of garage rock's most prolific stars, who's cleaned up his act a little more with each release. And I appreciate it all the more because he didn't go full-on kitsch with the aesthetic and try to bring back the glam rock look—though if anyone could do that successfully, it'd be him.
Marissa G. Muller, Guest Editor
Tei Shi - "Bassically"
AT LAST! A new Tei Shi track. I've been waiting for this Brooklyn-based beauty to drop another tune—bar that Bey cover, it's been about a year!—but this is worth it. She's really stepped it up and the Eighties are in full effect here. Something about those louche Italo disco synth pulses and Tei Shi's breathy coo that climbs and climbs (there's a trace of BANKS' sultry curves here), and the quasi-drop at 3.15 really tickles my sweet spot. Listen loud.
Bad Brains - "Big Takeover" Live at CBGB 1982
I will never be tired of this band, or this song.
Failures - Decline and Fall
There are a few labels I wish would get their entire catalogs on Bandcamp. Level Plane is one. Robotic Empire is another (although they do have a good amount up there). And third is Youth Attack (in case you can’t tell, I’m a big grind/screamo nostalgist nerd). The label only has five albums on there. Fortunately, one is Failures, featuring Mark McCoy of Charles Bronson and Das Oath and all those bands. Fuck yes. More please.
Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross - "New Flame"
OK, so this song has 16 million plus plays on it (and that's only on Soundcloud) and released in August so both of those facts kind of defeat the whole "new music" thing about Noisey. But holy fucking shit I cannot stop listening to this song. Last weekend, I played it at a party and someone yelled at me because it wasn't rap but then I yelled at them because that fact doesn't matter because it's the greatest song of all time (and also because I was belligerently drunk.) Anyway, Chris Brown sucks as a human being but this song is awesome and I'm going to steal the music at a party tonight and repeat what happened last week. Turnip.
Eric Sundermann, Managing Editor